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September 2018

View of Mission with Fountain in foreground

View of Mission with Fountain in foreground

U.S. News & World Report Ranks Santa Clara University No. 1 in the Western Region

Small classes, high peer ratings, and strong graduation rates helped make SCU No. 1 in the western region in U.S. News & World Report

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Sept. 10, 2018—Santa Clara University was named the top-ranked regional university in the western United States in the 2019 U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges rankings. The University earned a perfect overall score of 100 out of 100, attributable to the following noteworthy factors:

  • Graduation rate: The graduation rate of SCU students who entered in 2011 was 90 percent—the highest rate in the western peer group—up from 89 percent for a comparable period last year.
  • Undergraduate focus: SCU was ranked No. 6 among regional universities in the West for undergraduate teaching—a peer ranking for schools where faculty have “an unusually strong commitment to undergraduate teaching.”
  • Top students: This year, 87 percent of SCU first-year students were in the top 25 percent of their high school class, up from 85 percent last year.
  • Small classes: The percentage of classes with fewer than 20 students jumped to 47 percent from 44 percent.
  • Peer assessment: The average score awarded to SCU by top academic officials across the country—its academic peer assessment score—rose to 4.1 on a 5-point scale, up from last year’s 4.0.
  • Veterans: Once again, SCU was ranked No. 1 in the West for veterans.
  • Value education: Santa Clara was ranked No. 15 in the western U.S. for “Best Value Schools,” measured by factors like quality relative to price and percentage of students receiving need-based assistance.
  • Innovation: Santa Clara was ranked the No. 10 “Most Innovative School” in the western U.S., chosen by academic leaders for making the most innovative improvements in terms of curriculum, faculty, students, campus life, technology or facilities.
  • Business school: Across all universities in the country, SCU’s undergraduate business program was tied for the No. 62 spot, up from No. 64 last year.
  • Engineering: Nationally, SCU’s undergraduate engineering program ranked No. 132 among schools that also offered doctoral degrees.

“It is extremely gratifying to see Santa Clara University recognized for a commitment to excellence at all levels,” said University President Michael E. Engh, S.J. “Our students, faculty, and staff are highly dedicated individuals, all with a shared tenacity for thriving. As we celebrate this accolade, we remain diligent in graduating citizens of the world—those intent on measuring their own success by their ability to help others succeed.”

The “2019 Best Colleges” rankings analyzes 312 “national” and 646 “regional” universities—including Santa Clara University. Regional universities are defined as offering a full range of undergraduate programs and master’s degrees, but few doctoral programs. The western region, where Santa Clara University is located, covers 140 master’s level universities from Colorado to the West Coast, including those in Texas.

The “Best Colleges” rankings can be found on the U.S. News & World Report website. The 2019 print edition of the “Best Colleges” guidebook will be on newsstands Oct. 16 and can be purchased online at

SCU's overview and 2019 rankings are available online here

About Santa Clara University
Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located 40 miles south of San Francisco in California’s Silicon Valley, offers its more than 9,000 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, and engineering; master’s degrees in business, education, counseling psychology, pastoral ministry, and theology; and law degrees and engineering doctoral degrees. Distinguished nationally by one of the highest graduation rates among all U.S. master’s universities, California’s oldest operating higher-education institution demonstrates faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice. For more information, see

Media Contact
Deborah Lohse | SCU Media Communications | | 408-554-5121


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